Chancellor urged to ease tax and save jobs

George Osborne
George Osborne

CHANCELLOR George Osborne is under pressure to boost the economy ahead of his budget on March 21.

The Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce is calling on the Coalition to take positive action to re-launch the economy with business-friendly measures which will stimulate growth.

And, the British Beer and Pub Association wants the continued rise in duty halted to save jobs.

The chamber wants the chancellor to abolish the impending 5.6 per cent business rate rise planned for April which it says will threaten the survival of some businesses.

It also wants more help for medium-sized firms, incentives to create jobs for young people, more support for exporters, less Red Tape and a kick-start of infrastructure projects.

“It is imperative that short-term action is taken to prevent stagnation and boost business confidence,” said head of policy and representation, Steven Leigh.

The Pub Association has released information which shows the important role of beer and pubs in the economy.

Figures for Calderdale show 286 pubs, 11 brewers, nearly 2,400 direct jobs plus hundreds more supporting jobs in the supply chain and 1,100 jobs for the U-25s.

Wages amount to £36.7 million and tax paid more than £27 million.

Association chief executive Brigid Simmonds said with so many jobs depending on the trade the Government must scrap plans for big increases in beer tax.

“Beer and pubs provide huge numbers of local jobs. We cannot afford another beer tax increase,” she said.

“We need a duty freeze in the Budget, and I hope all MPs will make the case for pubs and jobs.”

Peter Robinson, pubs officer for the Halifax and Calderdale branch of CAMRA, said singling out drinkers for tax hikes would cost jobs and not tackle problems with binge drinking.

“And, if they keep putting the tax up the Government will lose revenue,” he said.

“It needs to address the price imbalance between the off-licence and the licensed trade.”

High earners are also pressurising the chancellor to ditch the top 50p rate of tax.

Hundreds of business owners have criticised the Government claiming it was penalising high hearners through an unfair, politically-motivated tax which put populist politics before sound economics.